By the time I’d finished throwing him into the dumpster, I felt oddly calm. He was right: after the first one, you just kind of know it’s right. I ripped open a couple of plastic trash bags to cover his body, spilling rancid leftovers in the process. Some things are ugly when spilled. Like rice. It looks like maggots. Others, like Szechwan Chicken, look no different. But then there are things like milk or blood, it turns out, that look quite beautiful.
I told Maggie I cut my arm on a piece of sheet metal hanging out the back of some pickup truck. We ate the Chinese in the emergency room – quietly until Maggie asked if I was having second thoughts.
I had no idea what she was talking about, of course.
“Cuz I got online this afternoon and found out that you’ll be an Oregonian resident in two months. So you can start up next fall, like we talked about.”
Thanks to the casual drug use in my past, I was well practiced in bullshitting my way through subjects I had no recollection of. Which is how I got Maggie to recap “our” lunchtime conversation.
We’d apparently come up with a five-year plan. “I’ll be a monkey’s uncle,” I said.
“Why?” Maggie said.
I tousled her hair and claimed I was just delirious from blood loss.
“I don’t suppose you’d be up for a friendly match of snooker when we get home?” she asked.
“What do you mean? It’s been, like five days. I think this is a record for you. Besides, you have to redeem yourself for last night.”
He was a good guy, Eric Two. They’re all good guys. But you have to kill them. It doesn’t get easier, but you have to do it.